Nigerian fintech company Aella raises US$10mn from HQ Financial Group

Aella co foundersAella, Nigeria-based fintech start-up, has raised a US$10mn debt financing round from HQ Financial Group (HQF), Singapore-based company specialising in new material science, semiconductor and blockchain financial investments

This debt financing round is Aella’s second raise and is set to bolster the company’s commitment to serve the underbanked population in West Africa and other emerging markets.

For millions of poor and low-income households, entrepreneurs and nascent businesses in West Africa without access to financial institutions, micro-lending fintechs like Aella provide a broader array of financial products — savings, insurance, payments and specialised loans, focused on lifting many out of poverty. Aella plans to use this funding to scale its lending operations and expand its product base into payments.

“Lack of access to credit and financial services has been the main impediment to MSME growth and poverty reduction in several emerging economies. Aella’s commitment to providing trustworthy credit to millions of people in the world’s emerging markets is improving financial inclusion, enabling MSME expansion and accelerating economic growth and this raise will allow us scale our expansion across Africa quickly,” said Aella CEO Akin Jones.

Aella to invest in a blockchain-based lending market called Creditcoin

Aella will invest in new products including a blockchain-based lending market called Creditcoin, to build borrower creditworthiness and aid in the acquisition of one million additional users by the end of 2020.

“We are building a one-stop app for all transactions partnered with regulated industry leaders to help distribute products faster, better and cheaper to end-users in Nigeria and across the markets we plan to launch. This app will allow users access multiple financial services at low costs compared to what is currently available in market,” Jones added.

Aella previously raised US$2mn seed funding at the US startup programme Y Combinator from seed investors including Micheal Seibel of Y Combinator, Brian Armstrong of Coinbase, Bill Paladino (former head of Naspers eCommerce), Tae Oh, Shawntae Spencer (former San Francisco 49ers Cornerback), VY Capital, 500 Startups, Gluwa and others, which enabled it invest in digitalisation and technology.

Aella focuses on expanding across Africa and Southeast Asia, enabling users to access a wide range of fast, convenient and secure financial services.

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